I’d like to share a few blogging tips this week to help anyone with a small business reach out to potential new customers using their blog. Like many small business owners, even if you know that a blog would be a great thing for your business, it can be hard to know how to keep it going. But blogging can be one of the easiest tools to get the word out about your business, if you simply know a few blogging tips to get you started and keep you organized.
It is important to keep in mind that your blog audience is not just random people who read your blog. They are your potential clients, your current customers and even more importantly they can be advocates for you by sharing your blog posts with others. That is why your blog posts should be helpful and also very sharable. In this age of social media, we want our customers and friends re-posting our nuggets of wisdom on Facebook, pinning our pictures of our products on Pinterest and tweeting our helpful hints around the web. Here are some blogging tips to help get you there:
Keyword Research is a Must
This is probably one of the most ignored blogging tips and yet so easy to do. If you use the Google Keyword Tool to find the keywords you need it is a real snap. If you aren’t sure how to do keyword research for your blog, be sure to zip over to my handy tutorial on finding your keywords.
The first step is to really give some thought to the kinds of words that truly reflect your business. Sometimes the key is not just the words but the order of them. For example, the keyword tool may show that more people are looking up the phrase “Toronto based podiatrists” than “foot surgery in Toronto” so it might be a better keyword for that business.
Bonus blogging tip: Your site should also have a plug-in for Google analytics up and running to show you how your site ranks. Once this has had time to tell you how you are ranking for your keywords you can then plan what keywords you want to improve in on your site. Let’s say you are ranking 11th for the keyword “dresses for plus size women”. This would put you on the second page for Google searches and, of course, you want to be on the first page. Write your next blog post all about that keyword to help it move up. This is how keyword research can be a valuable tool in helping you to rank your site and get more readers on your blog.
Blogging Tips on Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post on someone else’s blog as their guest. Yes, I know what you are thinking. You are already struggling with getting your own blog posts up, why on earth should you be adding to that with guest blogging? Well, the answer is simple. Google loves this kind of stuff and we want to spread the word around about our business.
Doing a guest blog is like free advertising. Even better, because blogs are their most effective when they are part of a community, guest blogging plugs you into that community. A good place to start might be a service like Cathy Stucker’s Blogger Linkup. You sign up on her site and she mails you a list three times a week of sites looking for guest posts. It’s a good way to get the ball rolling.
Then you can add on blogs you find on your own that deal specifically with your passions from your business. One easy blogging tip for guest blogging is to visit your favorite sites and comment on their blog, get to know them, then ask if you can contribute a blog post as a guest. It is a good way to connect with others, get to know your blogging community and get those back links.
Bring in Guest Experts
We all love to share great information. This blogging tip is about sharing the love and best of all some expert advice! Blogs should be about more than just you, they should share all kinds of cool informative tips for your readers. Do you know some experts in your field? Invite them to write a guest piece or interview them about their brilliant know-how as it pertains to your blog. People love to be asked about the things they have a passion for.
You can make your blog the go-to place for insight into your business by asking various experts in that industry if you can do a short interview. In addition to adding great information, don’t be surprised if they mention it and link to your site from their blog when you have posted the interview. This is wonderful extra “Google juice” to help your site. If they don’t, be sure to go up on their site after, thanking them for the wonderful interview and linking to your site (with their permission, of course).
Get Interviewed for Your Expertise
Your business is your passion and I would guess you are an expert in it as well. Why not share that expertise around? You can offer to do interviews on local radio, podcasts and other media that share that expertise with others. But don’t wait to be invited, offer your interview to others. If you feel unsure about setting yourself up as an expert, one blogging tip is to talk about your passions in your blog posts and then send these links to others who blog that you think might share your view.
If you are checking the web for blogs that interest you, and might interest your potential clients, you have plenty of places to guest blog, offer up interviews and more. To give yourself that added boost, be sure to add relevant hashtags to your Twitter posts as well. If you are unsure how to use hashtags in your tweets, here is the lowdown on hashtag use from the folks who should know, Twitter.
So now you have some basics to get you started and keep you going. These blogging tips can get posted on a sticky note to remind yourself, or even calendar these ideas to make sure you touch one of them every week or two, on your site.
Don’t worry if things don’t change immediately, getting ranking on Google can be a slow process. Just stick to writing every week, use the little blogging tips we have mentioned here and you will see progress in your site’s ranking. Consistency, time and playing by the rules will win you the race in the end.